Lowering Rates Trigger A Rise
In Weekly Mortgage Applications;
New Home Buyers Ready to Move
There are signs of good real estate news in these turbulent times. Trends indicate homebuyers appear ready to move again, following a dip in demand over the past month, a downturn attributed to the Coronavirus crisis. Though a fall in refinance demand caused a decline in mortgage application demand to tumble by 3.3% in recent weeks, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports that adjusted seasonal index mortgage applications for a new home are on the rise.
Buyer confidence appears to be on the rebound, as homebuyer mortgage demand rose 12%. Real Estate veterans report increased buyer interest, and many home builders contend they notice buyers are returning. One noted MBA Vice President of industry/economic forecasting observes that the ten largest states, by volume of application, have shown upturns in purchasing. This is a promising harbinger of activity in the traditionally busy spring season, which had been slowed significantly in the wake of the pandemic arrival. Washington State and California have demonstrated notable turnarounds, and New York, in the wake of significant recent declines, is showing signs of improvement, as well.
Buyers are encouraged by mortgage rates that had cascaded to record MBA index lows, in tandem with contract rates of interest for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages registering a significant decline. However, as long as lenders suspect elevated risk from the economic turmoil, mortgage underwriting is likely to remain tight.
In a recent week, home-loan refinance applications fell seven per-cent from the previous week, though they remained more than 200% greater than they were in the same period in 2019. Because of the mortgage bailout program (part of the CARES Act)—and its uncertain role in the risky new economy—many lenders have suspended certain product offers. The result? Rates for refinances are steeper than those for buying a home; they have been impacted by monitored changes in credit availability for re-fi loans, while lenders are busy operating pipelines at near capacity.
Simplifying the Mortgage Picture.
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